The authorities in China have yet to give the iPhone 6 a licence
The iPhone 6 has not yet gone on sale in China – where it is made – but that has not deterred the legions of Apple faithful.
Consumers in China are willing to pay as much as £2,000 to get their hands on a new iPhone 6.
The latest phone from Apple is not yet available in China, despite being made there, but that has not stopped the most dedicated of consumers from trying to buy from overseas sellers.
Sky News has seen numerous posts on Chinese social media websites where the phones are being sold at massive premiums.
One phone, apparently bought in Hong Kong, is now being advertised on China’s Taobao marketplace for RMB19,500 (£1,950). Another appears to have been bought in Britain and shipped out to China for re-sale.
A standard iPhone 6 retails at £539 in the UK without a contract, and is as little as £99 with a contract.
The border between China and Hong Kong has been smuggling route for centuries. Once the trade was opium and weapons but now it is Phones.
Over the past three days, 600 iPhone 6 handsets have been seized by customs in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, having been smuggled over the border with Hong Kong.
According to the China’s Guangzhou Daily newspaper, smugglers had hidden the phones in boxes of tea, coffee and toothpaste.
The iPhone 6 has not yet been given a launch date in mainland China because the telecoms authorities are yet to give it a licence.
But even without access to the Chinese consumer market, Apple still managed to sell 10 million of the new handsets globally in one weekend alone.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said: “Sales for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus exceeded our expectations for the launch weekend, and we couldn’t be happier.”
The first batch of iPhones was only available in the US, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada, France, Germany and the UK. The limited release has caused mayhem among the Apple faithful.
In Japan, the release marked the first time that iPhones were sold without a SIM lock. This prompted dozens of Chinese buyers to fly to Japan and queue outside Japanese Apple stores.
At one Apple store in the city of Osaka, police were called after Chinese customers’ anger boiled over when the store ran out of the phones.
An Apple representative in Beijing refused to comment on the unofficial market and would not confirm when the phone would be released in China.